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Kansas voters to weigh constitutional protection for hunting and fishing

by Jonathan Shorman | CJonline.com  |  Published on November 1, 2016

Supporters want to guard against possible future threats, but opponent says change is geared toward a special group.

Kansas voters will head to the polls next week to cast decisions in the white-hot presidential race, legislative face-offs and judicial retention contests.

But they will face another choice: Should the state constitution include a right to hunt and fish?

The constitutional amendment hasn’t drawn the same level of attention as other races, yet supporters and opponents are battling all the same. No public polling on support for the measure appears available, but it passed the Legislature by an overwhelming margin.

Voters will decide whether to add a provision to the Kansas Constitution enshrining the right to hunt, fish and trap — subject to reasonable laws and regulations that promote wildlife conservation and management. The amendment also states that public hunting and fishing would be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.

If passed, the amendment would effectively change nothing — at least not immediately. The Kansas Department for Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has said all current laws and regulations would still apply.

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